Getting Good at Doing Nothing

24 Feb
Hanging in my hammack...

Hanging in my hammack...

If there’s something I am not good at at all, that’s doing nothing. I came to this conclusion already long time ago, that I am a ‘homo faber’, a ‘doer’ and simply being is not my cup of tea. I tend to live through the activities I embark on: visiting places, meeting up with people, writing (as I am doing now), surfing on the internet, emailing, preparing some projects, etc.

But after more than a week in Laos, more particularly in Muang Ngoi (paradise), where there’s nothing much to do anyway, I am becoming more skilled in the art of lingering about, letting my mind wonder off or simply contemplate the scenery. Maybe it is the sweltering heat that slows down all bodily functions – trying to reduce all physical activity to a minimum. The view of little bamboo leaves twirling in the air, being carried away by the wind against the backdrop of a karst mountain valley, also invites to mesmerize about how beautiful this world is – and how lucky I am swinging in my hammock taking all of this in – and having the freedom to stay on here as long as I want.

Nice setting for thinking...

Nice setting for thinking...

This is the ideal place to think. Besides the roosters crowing all over the place, and the guy from the restaurant playing the guitar languidly in the background, and the occasional fisher boat traveling the river, there is no distraction. Food is only a few restaurants away, at one of the guesthouses on the main and only street. And after ordering, you have at least half an hour of waiting before anything possibly arrives, so you can let your thoughts wander again. Unless you smile at your table neighbour and start a conversation, about everything and nothing.

Other people told me they meditate on their balcony, overlooking the valley. I could do some thinking (am writing my ‘personal manual’ trying to decipher myself how I function) but I tend to practice my ‘do-nothing’-skill, pushing back the questions that I am looking for answers for. Maybe they are not all that important if they are so far in the back of my mind, blurred by snoozing. But if there’s a place where you can focus on your inside world, then it’s (northern) Laos.

There’s not so many souvenirs that I can bring from Laos (

Just being...

Just being...

nothing much available here – and I don’t want to carry it around on my back for months to come), but I would like to take with me these tranquil moments (e.g. every morning) just mesmerizing about love, life and the universe. Some people probably call this meditation, others praying. I just call it ‘being’-time.


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